Thumbprint Dubbel - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
3.65/5 rDev -6.4%
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing classy gorgeous label and iconic branded red/gold colour pry-off pressure cap courtesy of the very generous Duff27. Reviewed live as a Dubbel for obvious reasons. No ABV is listed on the label.
Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured into a Westvleteren stem-goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, CO.
Expectations are sky-high given the brewery and style.
No bubble show forms as it's poured.
HEAD: Three fingers wide. Beautiful khaki colour. Consistency is perfect; it's smooth, even, fluffy, and angelically soft without looking airy or weak. Gorgeous shiny complexion. Spotty legs cling to the sides of the goblet as it recedes.
Retention is excellent - almost 10 minutes.
This head is on par with some of the best non-Trappist beers I've seen in the style. Just glorious.
BODY: Deep ruby-orange of incredible vibrance. Fairly dark though it may be, it's somehow still translucent and transparent. Appears perfectly carbonated. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, though to be nitpicky it'd be nice to see some yeast.
It's quite an appealing appearance for a Dubbel, and while perhaps a bit lighter than most traditional examples, it looks as it should.
AROMA: Decadent. Caramel, figs, dates, sugarplum, cream, Belgian candi sugar, raisin, a kiss of grape, earthy spices (mainly clove), a kiss of bread crust. It's powdery, with a perfect wetness/dryness for an aroma.
The dark fruits in particular are a real treat, and I can only hope they're as present in the taste as their aromatics suggest. As it warms, I pick up on some very faint cherry.
There was something different about the aroma I couldn't quite place, then I realized - it's pear. An odd note in a dubbel, but I find it appealing here.
Overall, it's a damn appealing aroma for a dubbel. The lively biscuity Belgian yeast character is fantastic alongside the subtle dark fruits and unique pear. I can't wait for the first sip.
Mild in strength overall.
TASTE/TEXTURE: The taste doesn't quite deliver on the grandeur of the aromatics - primarily because of its unfortunately limited depth of flavour, as well as its relatively brief duration of flavour.
The open greets the drinker with a fantastic creaminess, which lends the beer a comforting pleasant feel on the palate. It's smooth and perfectly carbonated, with a medium body and perfect thickness. It's subtly dry, a feature which helps coax out a bit more depth of flavour without dragging on the palate.
The first note I notice is the fig, which is prominent but not dominating. It's complemented beautifully by the subtle dark fruits (plum, dates, maybe some prune or grape), but in my opinion the dark fruits are far too subtle. A bit more presence and assertiveness would be lovely.
Some light bread crust, caramel, subtly sweet Belgian candi sugar, dried raisin, and faint cherry fill out the body, lending the build still more complexity, but again these notes are not allowed to shine. Sadly, each note is reticent, if not boozy.
The creaminess throughout almost seems to mute the flavour profile - an effect similar to that observed in poorly executed nitro-draught beers.
There's some clove and some backgrounded Belgian yeast character, but it isn't so prominent as to scream out that the beer is a alive and kicking - an element of many Belgian brews I admire.
I love that it's lightly sticky and chewy like a dried date.
Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, boozy, scratchy, or harsh.
It errs on the sweeter side, but is never cloying. The aftertaste carries the sweet dark fig forward as the more dry clove spice fades. Overall balance is excellent. It's incredibly subtle - but as I noted above, this is likely to its detriment. It's a shame a beer so intricate and well-layered doesn't allow its notes to come through more. Even as it warms I find it closed-off.
Finally, the pear throughout is interesting and effective, but would work far better if the dark fruit were more present. In any case, that's a unique touch I've never found in a dubbel before.
OVERALL: It's effortlessly drinkable - is this really 7.80%? - but its quality demands it be savored. It's a nice dubbel, but its reticent flavour profile and overly light mouthfeel really hold it back from greatness. I want more...oomph...for lack of a better word - both in terms of flavour and mouthfeel. Deeper flavours and a weightier, more full-bodied and hefty texture would do this brew wonders. It nails the delicacy and fragility of the best beers in the style (e.g. Westvleteren 8), but fails to bring the flavour.
But I nitpick. It's definitely amongst the best American dubbels I've ever had. It's absolutely worth trying and I'd definitely buy it again.
Serve into a goblet.
Would pair well with dusty chocolate, dark fruit, cherries, and graham crackers.
08-18-2014 23:24:03 | More by kojevergas
3.9/5 rDev 0%
Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with ruby highlights and a huge, billowing, dense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.
Aroma is slightly metallic initially, but esters of prunes, raisins, green apple, pear, and dates take over. There's a bit of dark candi sugar backbone, adding sweetness. Floral notes surface late.
Flavor reveals more tart apple character underlying lightly toasted, lightly sweet malt. Pear takes over mid palate. Notes of banana and raisin contrast the toast. The metallic character surfaces a bit in the aftertaste. The balance is estery. Not overly sweet.
Body is moderate to a touch full, with high carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.
Nice estery character, more complex in the aroma. Good balance of malt sweetness and dryness. Wish the carbonation were lower so the flavor would linger more.
05-24-2014 03:14:39 | More by barczar
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
Appearance: Pours an ice tea color with a massive head and a brief bubble show; great retention and lacing; looks like a Belgian
Smell: Toasted bread, caramel, apple, pear and spice cake tones
Taste: Toasted bread and caramel, up front, with the apple, pear and spice cake elements building, in the middle; after the swallow, the finish is surprisingly dry
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation
Overall: I was surprised by where my score came out as I was initially thinking this as not a 4+ beer as it didn't have the dark fruit and candi sugar elements of a Belgian dubbel; the more I drank it, the more I liked it, however, and I was sold by the relatively dry finish
Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity
08-25-2014 23:40:43 | More by brentk56
3.94/5 rDev +1%
Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.
A - Pours a nice crystal clear chestnut hue with a big, creamy two finger off white head that fades slowly to leave a dense creamy blanket but not much in the way of side lacing. The head kind of erupted from the glass too in a concerning manner; still, solid enough appearance. 4 (x .05 = .2)
S - Aromas of darker fruits, grains, yeast, light belgian spices such as cloves, solid esters, nice caramel and sweet malts. The back end though has a rather strong hit of alcohol and deep inhales only make it all the more prominent. 3.5 (x .2 = .7)
T - Taste is similar to the nose, though a bit more of that rustic old world bread/grain going on. Caramel and sweet malts take over along with darker fruit, like a very yeasty potent raisin bread. The belgian spice notes are really spot on and the esters are rather pleasant too. Alcohol is hidden nicely, unlike the nose. 4.25 (x .45 = 1.913
M - Mouthfeel is a bit heavily carbonated, not quite as creamy as I'd like for the style. Not heavy or syrupy though. 3.75 (x .1 = .375)
O - Overall, a surprisingly good offering from New Glarus that isn't a fruit based beer. Nice representation of the style and while tasty I wish it brought more to the table regarding nose and mouthfeel. 3.75 (x .2 = .75)
Total Rating Score: 3.94
Serving Type: Bottle
08-24-2014 02:02:48 | More by rudzud
3.85/5 rDev -1.3%
Appearance - The beer is a murky brown color with a bubbly white head.
Smell - It does smell like a Belgian, but on the mild side of the equations.
Taste - In the beginning, I detect caramel before the dark fruits hit. Belgian yeast and banana become more detectable toward the back. The beer is moderately warming going down.
Mouthfeel - I have a real attachment to way the bubbles massage in the tongue in this one. There is definitely some texture in this one which allows it to linger.
Overall - I would love for this one to be a little sweeter. Perhaps aging with do the trick.
08-23-2014 23:28:33 | More by JohnnyHopps
4.3/5 rDev +10.3%
A - Brown, mostly opaque, a bit speckled, with a light tan head that rises high and hangs around, eventually fading to a film of suds. There's a little lacing, but nothing more than a few scattered pockets.
S - Strong hits of alcohol and dark fruits, sweetness and a slight herbal quality.
T - The herbal element comes forward, with dark fruits in support. No sign of the alcohol from the nose. There is an aspect that reminds me of a well brewed tea. A little bitterness, and the close leaves you wanting another swig.
M - Light on the tongue, moderate carbonation, and a clean close.
O - Quite enjoyable, and easily drinkable, it makes me want to find other Dubbels. A bit lighter than your Belgian Strong, but not in the ABV, so it is one to be careful about as you drink.
08-20-2014 01:51:03 | More by Tsar_Riga
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
In a Belgian Tulip from a 12 ounce bottle.
A- cloudy brown body with a tremendous pale, foamy white head. Healthy carbonation, plenty of lace, and visible yeast residue.
S- Sweet and full of dark fruit, there's a syrupy quality there. There's a tinge of booze, some earthiness, and malt.
T- A sweet, caramel malt flavor, a taste of candy syrup, dark fruit, earthiness.
M- Thick and heavy bodied, with a blast of yeasty effervescence mid-palate, and a almost entirely sweet feel. At the finish, there's a touch of hops that provide slight bitterness. There's almost no booze detected.
Damn tasty brew. Very well-executed.
08-10-2014 04:15:29 | More by ONovoMexicano
Thumbprint Dubbel from New Glarus Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.